Prestige Classes


"They steal our souls, I steal their stuff. That's fair, right?"

-Trienath Salazar, hellbreaker

Hellbreakers are consummate adventurers. Called thieves by their detractors and heroes by their apologists, they specialize in infiltrating infernal strongholds and relieving them of their treasures. To this end, they develop a number of abilities and fighting techniques useful for combating the legions of Hell.


Rogues likely make the best hellbreakers, since they have access to both Bluff and Sense Motive as class skills and gain the fastest sneak attack progression. Many hell breakers also have ranger levels, since the favored enemy ability complements those gained from this prestige class. Others dabble in forbidden magic, having one or more levels of binder or truenamer to augment their other class features. A spellthief does well in this class too, as does a ninja, though it takes longer for both classes to meet the entry requirements.


You don't put a lot of stock in rules and regulations; you just don't trust them. Too much order stifles creativity, and worse, encourages tyranny. That's why you focus your efforts on fighting devils. You don't pursue this path for moral reasons - well, maybe a little - but because devils are the worst tyrants of all. These creatures want nothing more than to sink their claws into the souls of innocents, promising them all sorts of wonderful things only to pull the rug out from under them. When a person finally realizes she has been duped, it's too late - she's already a slave.

Your loathing of devils has led you to other like-minded people. Now, you're not part of an organization - that requires too much structure. Instead, you form a loose confederation of adventurers that puts its various talents to good use. You're all committed to fighting devils, though you know people's motives vary a great deal. You and your allies raid cult strongholds, hidden enclaves, and even sometimes make expeditions to the Nine Hells. There, you rob your marks blind and slip away before anyone notices. You know your actions infuritate the devils, which is what makes spending so much time figuring out ways past their defenses worthwhile.


You can fight devils better than nearly anyone. Most of your class features are keyed to combat specific advantages found in all devils. In particular, your steal spell-like ability feature allows you to neutralize key strengths such as summon baatezu or a devastating charm or compulsion spell-like ability that can wreak havoc on an adventuring party. Once you have neutralized one of a devil's most potent tools, you should work with your allies to set up a flank so you can maximize your damage output.

Don't sell yourself short, though. You are not a one-trick character. You are just as effective against other creatures that use spell-like and supernatural abilities. At low to mid-levels, you can leave a devil crippled and punch holes in its hide, while the heavy hitters in your group pound away. If one opponent tries to get away, you have the means to catch a ride with it wherever it's going, and finish the creature off.


Not everyone can be a hellbreaker. It takes a certain sort of person to commit to a life of fighting devils. It takes rage, hatred, and a thirst for vengeance. You, and others like you, despise tyrants. You might have been a slave at one time, or maybe you suffered along with many other people under a brutal regime. At some point, you had enough. You did your research, looking for someone to punish. There, buried under a heap of planar lore, you found the very authors of tyranny - the devils.

Making the decision to become a hellbreaker wasn't easy, but once you made it, you were sure you were on the right path. You probably studied under another hellbreaker to learn the trade, but you also learned a lot on your own. You figured out how to touch the planar harmonics to interfere with telepathic communication. You learned how to hide from even the most perceptive eyes. Little by little, you haphazardly picked up how to pluck the most treasured abilities from your opponents and exploit them.

As a hellbreaker, you should invest in feat choices that improve your attack rolls and mobility. Spring Attack, Mobility, and Weapon Focus all improve your chances at successfully crippling your opponent. Improved Initiative is also vital, since it allows you to control the battlefield more effectively by striking before a devil is prepared. Don't neglect Hide and Move Silently, and be sure to keep putting ranks in Tumble, since this skill enables you to maneuver more effectively.


Being a thief at heart, you travel in shady circles, getting to know all sorts of unsavory types. The criminal underworld often contains specialists, much like yourself, who concern themselves with bigger prizes. Fighting devils requires a certain understanding of their society, their thinking, and their interests, so you spend much of your free time studying and learning from people who have crossed devils in the past. In time, you develop a reputation for such knowledge yourself and other hopeful hellbreakers come to seek you out.


"I've known a few hellbreakers in my time, and I'll tell you, they're all mad. Oh sure, they start lucid enough, stealing a forbidden tome from a cultist in a city and then drifting over to some village to help a group of mercenaries break up a coven of devil-worshippers. But at some point, they all break. They start dreaming bigger than they should. All they talk about is thwarting some arch devil, Pelor bless us all. Then, they up and disappear, never seen or heard from again."

-Corby Naysayer, adventurer

Hellbreakers are rare and mysterious individuals. Though the idea of the hellbreaker spans many different races and cultures, they lack any sort of real organization. Hellbreakers might sometimes band together for a particularly tough mission, but they are more likely to join up with nonhellbreakers to benefit from a diverse assortment of capabilities.


Hellbreakers, when they do organize into groups, do so for brief stints, usually only for a single mission. The reason is simple. Hellbreakers have dangerous enemies, and sticking with the same allies for too long invites disaster. Worse, if a devil gets revenge against several hellbreakers at once, no one remains to pass on the trade. That said, certain jobs demand a level of cooperation, especially when a mission involves a foray into Hell.

In such instances, the highest-level hellbreaker organizes the team. If she has the plane hop class feature, the other hellbreakers in attendance use their stowaway ability to complete the transit to Baator. Once there, all the members are stuck in the Nine Hells (or wherever they went) for 24 hours, so they spend several hours scouting the area where the theft will take place, attempting to gauge how long the mission will take, determine the mission objectives, and devise an exit strategy. Once all the pieces are in place, they strike quickly, grab what they came for, kill a few devils for good measure, and escape back to the Material Plane. Once home, they go their separate ways to protect the participants of the heist.

NPC Reactions

For the most part, no one knows about the hellbreakers; if they did, most folk wouldn't believe the stories anyway. Who could possibly believe a person would make a living robbing devils and their minions? Those who encounter these audacious individuals find them erratic and unpredictable, making most people who know about them unfriendly at best. Trafficking with fiends, regardless of the cause, is dangerous work, and most sane people try to distance themselves from reckless fools who bring down such violence on their own heads.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) can research hellbreakers to learn more about them. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Hellbreakers are thieves who specialize in robbing devils.

DC 15: While hellbreakers can circumvent a devil's keen senses, they are said to come into their own when they can steal a devil's magic.

DC 20: Hellbreakers are known to latch onto teleportation magic, crossing vast distances through little effort of their own. In fact, the most powerful ones are thought to be able to step onto entirely new planes of existence with nothing more than a thought.

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about a specific notable hellbreaker, the areas where she operates, and the kinds of activities she undertakes.

Tracking down a hellbreaker is not easy; members of the class like to stay hidden. To locate someone who knows about hellbreakers, a character must succeed on a DC 25 Gather Information check and spend 3d10 gp in bribes. From there, the character can gain directions to the last known community where a hellbreaker operated. Upon traveling to this new location, a character must succeed on a DC 20 Gather Information check and spend the same amount in bribes. This process continues for 1d6 communities until a hellbreaker finally seeks the character out.


The hellbreaker class is an excellent avenue for stealth-oriented characters to retain that role, as well as find a place in an adventuring party that actively confronts devils regularly. This class enables a character to continue to develop sneak attack, while providing interesting uses for such a staple ability.

Be sure to provide opportunities for a hellbreaker to use her class features. The easiest way to do this is to increase the number of opponents that have multiple spell-like or supernatural abilities. Each time the player gets to use steal spell-like ability, her character becomes more dynamic and gains extra opportunities to be an effective participant in the game. If the campaign is not focused on the Nine Hells and its inhabitants, consider using more infernal foes or run a few side adventures to keep the character invested in this class.


The hellbreaker class focuses on a character designed to combat devils. However, you can easily change the emphasis by modifying the flavor text. A hellbreaker could become an angel hunter, a sinister villain that preys upon good-aligned outsiders. A hellbreaker could also be a demonslayer, a hardened veteran of the Blood War who uses subterfuge to bring down the Abyss's most psychotic killers. Alternatively, you could adapt this class to make a hellbreaker a dragonslayer, a character who infiltrates a dragon's lair, takes what he wants, and slips away. Since a hellbreaker's class features deal with removing spell-like and supernatural abilities, the class is equally effective against any creature that has these abilities. You might want to make some small changes, though, such as replacing telepathic static with a similar ability that scrambles tongues or some similar continuous effect. In any event, the hellbreaker is a dynamic class that can be easily adapted to fit your campaign needs.

Sample Encounter

PCs aren't likely to fight a hellbreaker in combat, unless a hellbreaker serves demons in her crusade to conquer hell, which is certainly a viable archetype. Hellbreakers are more likely to be temporary allies - unpredictable characters who join an adventuring party for a very specific mission.

EL 12: Trienath Salazar (CN female tiefling ninja 6/hellbreaker 6) is on the run. A veteran of many forays into the bowels of Hell, she has gained several powerful enemies, including a pit fiend named Zaebos, whom she believes is one of the Dark Eight. Knowing this fiend is hot on her trail, she offers to sell the PCs goods (pick any magic items with a total of 10,000 gp) stolen from her most recent mission. If the characters seem honorable and forthright, she might offer to join them for a time, hoping to benefit from greater numbers.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become a hellbreaker, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any chaotic.

Skills: Bluff 8 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks, Sense Motive 8 ranks.

Language: Infernal.

Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Undo Resistance.

Special: Sneak attack +2d6, skirmish +2d6, or sudden strike +2d6.

Class Skills

The hellbreaker's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: The Hellbreaker

Level Base
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Mantle of darkness, telepathic static
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Steal spell-like ability
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Sneak attack +1d6
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Stowaway
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Neutralize spell-like ability
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Sneak attack +2d6
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Foil summoning
8th +6 +2 +6 +6 Steal supernatural ability
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Sneak attack +3d6
10th +7 +3 +7 +7 Plane hop
Class Features

A hellbreaker dismantles a creature's magical abilities. By sacrificing sneak attack damage, she can steal their spell-like and supernatural abilities. She can foil divination spells and make it harder to cast conjuration spells, and when she needs to slip away, she can catch a ride on another caster's teleportation spell or step onto another plane.

All of the following are class features of the hellbreaker prestige class.

Mantle of Darkness (Ex): You can make Hide checks in any kind of darkness, even when observed by creatures that can see in darkness.

Telepathic Static (Su): Beginning at 1st level, you emit a field of psychic chatter out to a range of 20 feet, negating the telepathy ability of all creatures within range. In addition, divination spells and spell-like abilities cast or used in the area are impeded. To use divination magic, a caster must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the level of the spell). If the check fails, the spell or spell-like ability does not function but is still lost as a prepared spell, spell slot, or daily use. If the check succeeds, the spell functions normally. You can suppress this ability for 1 round as a free action.

Steal Spell-Like Ability (Su): Starting at 2nd level, you can use a sneak attack to temporarily steal a creature's spell-like ability. If you hit an opponent with a sneak attack, you can choose to forgo 2d6 dice of sneak attack damage and instead gain one use of one of the target's spell-like abilities. If the target is willing, you can steal a spell-like ability with a touch as a standard action (you do not need to damage a willing target).

This spell-like ability can originate from the target's class, race, template, or any other source, and can be of any spell level up to a maximum of 1/2 your class level. You can select a specific spell-like ability to borrow; otherwise, the DM chooses the ability at random. If the ability has a limited number of uses per day, the target must have at least one such use left, or you can't steal the ability. If the target can't use its ability (such as a summoned devil's summon ability), you can't steal it. If you steal and use an ability with limited uses per day, your use of the ability also counts as one use for the target creature.

You can use a stolen spell-like ability once. For all purposes (caster level, save DC, and so on), treat the spell-like ability as if the creature whose ability you stole were using it. You must use the stolen spell-like ability within 1 minute of acquiring it, or it is lost. Until you use the ability (or until 1 minute elapses), the target cannot use the stolen ability.

If you have a similar ability, such as the spellthief's steal spell-like ability, you can steal two spell-like abilities at once, but each is subject to its respective spell level restriction. Once you have stolen a spell-like ability, you cannot use neutralize spell-like ability (see below) until you have used the stolen ability.

Sneak Attack: Beginning at 3rd level, you deal extra damage when you are flanking an opponent or at any time when a target would be denied its Dexterity bonus to AC. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if a target is within 30 feet. (See the rogue class feature)

This extra damage increases to +2d6 at 6th level and +3d6 at 9th level. If you have levels in another class that grants sneak attack damage, the extra damage stacks.

Stowaway (Su): From 4th level on, you can hitch a ride on a conjuration (teleportation) spell or spell-like ability cast or used within 30 feet of you. If the target is unwilling, you must succeed on a level check with a DC of 10 + the caster level of the effect as an immediate action. If the target is willing, this ability functions automatically. When the spell is cast, you appear wherever the caster appears, in the same position you were at the time of the spell's casting. If this would force you to appear in a solid object, you appear in the nearest open available space. If the conjuration spell has variable results, such as teleport, you suffer the same effect as the caster.

Neutralize Spell-Like Ability (Su): Beginning at 5th level, you gain the ability to neutralize one of a target's spell-like abilities. This ability functions like the steal spell-like ability class feature, except you do not gain the ability to use the spell-like ability. Instead, you prevent the target from using the ability for a number of rounds equal to your class level. You cannot use this ability while holding a stolen spell-like ability. You can neutralize any number of spell-like abilities.

Foil Summoning (Su): At 7th level, your telepathic static intensifies so that you also impede conjuration (calling) and conjuration (summoning) spells and spell-like effects within 20 feet. See telepathic static, above, for details.

Steal Supernatural Ability (Su): From 8th level on, you can steal supernatural abilities. This ability functions like the steal spell-like ability class feature. While in possession of a stolen spell-like or supernatural ability, you cannot use steal spell-like ability, steal supernatural ability, or neutralize spell-like ability again until you lose access to the stolen ability (by discharging it or after 1 minute, whichever comes first).

Plane Hop (Sp): At 10th level, you can use plane shift as an immediate action once per day. This ability functions like the spell, but it has a range of personal and a target of you.